(i'll finish my tutorial, then move it into September's forum. i just didn't want it to accidentally get moved :))
I'm here to show you how to make your very own template! I know, it's pretty exciting :) I'm doing this in Photoshop Elements v.7 so things might be different depending on what program you're using.
With making a template, it's alot of the same thing (at least in my mind, it is). You make a layer out of a shape & then simplify it. Once you've done it a few times, it'll be a piece of cake!
First, you'll need to open a new file. Go to File->New File. Put in the name you want your file to be & the size. Here, I'll be making a 12x12 template and for ease, I'll name it 'Template'. I've also made my background white because that will be my main background paper. If you don't want to do that, you don't have to but I've found it easier.
So you now have a plain, white background. If you know me, you know I love matting my papers! So, we'll add a few mats :) Here's how you do the first one. In your Tools area, find the 'Rectangle Shape Tool'. Click on that once.
You'll notice once you click on it, there's some new things in the top left corner. This is where you'll choose the color you want to use. I chose a blue. For different things/elements/papers, I use different colors.
Start in 1 corner and then drag it out to the opposite corner (top left to bottom right). You'll have a square :)
In your Layer's Palette, right-click on the square/layer you just created. Click on 'Simplify'.
That'll now change your layer & has created a clipping mask!
Now, add it for another paper mat. Make sure you simplify each layer! If you don't, you won't be able to clip anything to it. I've added 2 paper mats & am now ready to add another layer that'll show where my photo goes. Do the same thing you've done but keep changing the colors so they don't blend together.
So now that I have my background papers & the picture, I want to add other shapes that'll show where to place your elements. Using your shape tool (it'll be your BFF during this entire process), click on Custom Shape Tool.
After clicking on that, go to the top left part & click on the small down arrow. You'll have a drop down window of a plethora of shapes. I like to see all of them at once & in order to do that, click on the double arrow to the right of the window and select All Elements Shapes.
Find the shape you want to use next. For this next shape I want to make a frame around my photo. Click on the shape you want (for this one, I chose a thin square). Click & drag it out. Remember to simplify!
Now I want to add a paper layer behind but I want my corners rounded for this one. Go back to your shape tool, click & hold on the small black arrow in the corner & select Rounded Rectangle Tool.
You can actually control the amount of roundness to the corners. Up in the top left corner, there's the Radius. The higher the number, the more round the corners are. Change the color & then click & drag. Remember to simplify :)
Here it is, once it's said & done. I then moved it so it is behind the frame & photo.
Now I want to do the same thing but have it be a circle instead. So click on the Custom Shape Tool, go up to the top left & click on the drop down window to find your circle. *You could also use the Circle/Elipse Shape Tool but I prefer to do it the other way.* Click & drag it out on your layout & then simplify. Move it to wherever you want it.
Now let's add some flowers or other elements! Keep using the Custom Shape Tool throughout this. Pick whatever shape you want (make sure it's on a new layer!) and then click & drag. Then simplify. It really is the same process over & over. It can get quite time consuming but you should be able to pick up quickly. You can do different shapes for different elements or the same one for everything. It's up to you & your creativity.
I also want to add a ribbon. I go back to the Custom Shape Tool & find one that most resembles a ribbon.
Then cick and drag so a new layer is formed. I made it big then was able to resize it to the size I wanted.
Now I add a few more things, like buttons (using the circle) and a few more elements (like another star & flower).
I also like to add an area for journaling. Make a journaling text box but DON'T simplify it. If you simplify, you won't be able to edit it when you're actually making your page-know what I mean?
For the title, I do the same thing as a journaling/text box but I simplify it. The reason I do that is because I'm usually using an alpha that's already made (in a kit) so I don't need to go back & edit the title. I also added a stroke (Edit>Stroke) around the letters so that it jumped out a little.
Now, I'm done!! I need to save the complete thing. In an ideal world, I would've already saved it :) There's many times when I get so busy that I forget to save before, during & after. Remember to do that!! I can't even begin to count how many layouts I've lost because I failed to save enough. With PSE, you can save the file a few different ways. You can save it as a PSD file or a TIFF file. Depending on your preference is what you'll save it as....or you can save it as both (notice the templates you buy-you'll usually get both). To save a PSD file, go to File>Save As> and click on the format drop down and click on PSD. Give it a file name & make sure you have it saved where you want it...then click Save.
Do the same for the TIFF file but in the drop down window, click on TIFF instead of PSD.
For TIFF files, you'll have this window pop up-
I've found this selections to work best for me. LZW, Interleaved (RGBRGB), IBM PC, & ZIP.
You can also add your drop shadows after you've simplified the layers! You don't have to but that's up to you. Here's how my finished template looks after I've added the layers-
And you're done! Did you make it through this incredibly long tutorial? Hope it helps you out & that you've learned something new from it. Can't wait to see what you create!